I am a 32 year old with CF and have done a lot of traveling by plane. I had only one experience when it was difficult to breath. I think the problem was due to recycled (stale) air. The cabin of the plane is pressurized (to protect against atmospheric pressures of altitude) and therefore the chance of a pneumothorax is decreased. Check with your doctor about the need for oxygen during flight; he can write an Rx and the airlines will sell you the use of oxygen (it is usually expensive). Check the air carrier you chose on their policy about the percent of recycled air during flight. If you complain, the pilot can “freshen” the air for you. Airlines save a bundle in recycling air. I also wear a mask to prevent cross transmission of viruses/bacteria in recycled air. Ask to change seats if you suspect that you are sitting next to someone with a cold. The airline usually has a department they can refer you to answer medical questions.

Smoking on Transatlantic Flights – I should have mentioned that KLM (along with Northwest – its affiliate in the USA) have smoke-free transatlantic flights. After innumerable flights overseas, this most recent one was the first smoke-free flight I’ve been on. It was wonderful! (November, 1995)